The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina. Some women develop a condition called cervicitis, an inflammation of the cervix. Cervicitis may be either acute or chronic. Acute cervicitis is typically caused by an infection while chronic cervicitis is not typically caused by one where symptoms may be milder but last longer. Cases of cervicitis range from mild or severe. Often, cervicitis is caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, mycoplasma or urea plasma. Other causes are allergies or irritation from sexual or menstrual products or materials; bacterial imbalances leading to bacterial vaginosis and an unhealthy pH, pregnancy, cancer or cancer treatment. Through the lens of TICM, cervicitis is usually an accumulation of damp-heat. Dampness is the sticky phlegm like by product of a digestion not assimilating properly and heat forms through a build up of toxins. This is in line with the bacterial properties that play a role in both the cause and treatment and also the symptoms that one experiences. Some women may not experience any symptoms when dealing with cervicitis or experience any number of these uncomfortable symptoms: vaginal itching or irritation, bleeding between periods, painful intercourse, bleeding after sex, frequent and painful urination, pain during a cervical exam, unusual grey or white discharge that may smell, a pressurised feeling in the pelvis, lower back pain, abdominal pain.
When dealing with cervicitis, it is important to speak to your doctor for the best course of treatment. Natural remedies alongside the care of a medical professional have proven to be quite effective in the treatment of cervicitis. In fact, a 2014 study found that TICM, including specific herbs, are effective in the treatment of cervicitis. The herbs were reported to have an anti-inflammatory effect, aiding in the resolution of the condition. In TICM, cervicitis follows the pattern of damp-heat. Clearing toxins and soothing inflammation (heat) address the root cause. If your body is balanced enough, inflammation won't be an issue and one won't be as susceptible to pathogens. Herbs that have been found to help genital infections: Fu ling is found in tinctures like gynaecology, Spleen and Kidney formula’s for its ability to clear heat, treat a variety of urinary conditions, especially urinary tract infections, cysts and much more.
Mu Dan Pi is found in Liver and gynaecology formula’s. This herb clears heat and cools down Blood while invigorating Qi, Blood and removing stagnation.
Bai Shao is found in fertility and Blood builder formula’s. This renowned herb is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, alleviates abdominal pain, muscle spasms and regulates menstrual cycles and removes heat. Garlic: the consumption of garlic or garlic supplements has been found to treat bacterial vaginosis, which is one cause of cervicitis.
Probiotics: a study found that probiotics may help treat bacterial vaginosis, which is one cause of cervicitis. If you suffer from reoccurring bacterial infections, probiotics will help balance the gut and vaginal flora. Please make your own. How else can you help? Avoid irritants: douches, tampons, menstrual cups, scented soaps, fragrances add to the risk of irritation. Proper underwear: ditch the thongs and use breathable cotton underwear to reduce the build up of bacteria and the transference of it from the back to the front.